Vinyl graphics: Dos and Donts
We all stand in awe, when a car with cool Vinyl Graphics passes by our sight on the road. It speaks quite a lot about the owner of the car like, his tastes, the kind of statement he wants to make etc. Due to this, more and more automobile owners, both young and aged alike are going for automobile vinyl graphics and vinyl stickers to stun their onlookers. A similar trend is catching up in the boat graphics sector as well.
So, before going ahead and getting your car some cool graphic effects done, you must know a lot about these automobile stickers, the way they are applied on the car and the kind of precautions one must take to ensure attraction and reveal your killer attitude.
To start with, before putting on the vinyl graphics on your automobile or speedboat, it is mandatory to make sure that the surface is as clean as it can possibly be. This is because, an unclean surface adversely affects the quality of the graphics applied. On the other hand, a cleanly washed surface free of contaminants such as wax, grease, sand and dust particles adds to the look of the graphic stickered automobile when the way you would have certainly wanted it to be.
Usually, car graphics are sometimes spoilt even before they are applied, that is, when an inexperienced or ill qualified installer does the job. So, irrespective of what goes wrong, the car owner is the one who loses at the end of the day. So it is the car owner alone, who has to ensure care while installing and make sure that the installer is experienced enough to go ahead with the work well.
Talking about cleanliness, isopropyl alcohol is one those most recommended and easily available solutions used for cleaning the surface of the car. Other solutions are generally not advised as they pose a threat of reducing the adhesive strength of the film or reacting with the paint etc. Another solution can be ammonia and this is also available in the market. But one disadvantage looming around ammonia is that it forms a layer on the window which can reduce the adhesiveness. This lack of proper adhesion causes ‘out gassing’, a phenomenon in which air bubbles enter between the surface and the vinyl film causing improper adhesion.
Acetone is another solvent that can be used to scrub down tar, dried mud particles, road grime etc. But care should be taken while using acetone as, if this solvent is used repeatedly, it can cause damage to the paint. Always be sure to test for a negative reaction on an inconspicuous portion of the paint before attempting to use acetone.
A suitable cleaning solution should be supplemented with a suitable cleaning material. A cloth, as many people would pick for cleaning any surface is not the right choice. This is because, cloth towels carry something called ‘lint’ which settles on the surface and adds to the contamination. Paper or paper towel is the best choice for wiping the surface clean.
Also, at times, in spite of taking such precautions, contaminants do creep in due to usage of unclean tools. Tools should be rendered dry before using for the cause.
If you ask me, the best thing to do before applying vinyl graphics to your car would be to test the cleaning solution. Find out the compatibility of the solution you intend to use with the material of the car, do some ground research and find out who is the best person around who can do the job within your budget etc. These precautions will certainly help in turning so many heads your way when you zoom past the costliest streets of your city.